IN OTHER WORDS | It Takes A Village

Recently, I’ve become involved with an amazing group. Postpartum Progress. Katherine Stone, ten years ago, founded PP with a blog and as a survivor herself. She just did it, knowing others were suffering too. I suffered from postpartum anxiety and depression (PPA/D) after the birth of my second child. I blogged recently about it. In retrospect, I probably suffered after my first as well. My anxiety then was chalked up to my first-time mom status as well as to my personality. I already, before ever getting pregnant, was an anxious person. I was also depressed. Clinically, medically, documented. Sufferer of a chronic illness. Not one single person said a word to me about the possibility of postpartum spikes in symptoms. Not my OB, not my rheumatologist (who had prescribed the anti-depressants), NO ONE. I did not share my suffering. I got little support because I didn’t know where to go. I had a psychiatrist, my meds, my husband, but no community, no other women who understood how it felt. How it feels to have horrific intrusive scary thoughts about danger that might befall you or your baby. How it feels to cry all day and know there are always more tears. How it feels to be so tired you cannot move, not one inch but for to care for your child, you somehow do, and it’s at your own expense.

It’s been over a decade since that time. It has also been a decade since Katherine Stone started Postpartum Progress because she knew, she understood that we needed a new way to talk about what can happen to women, the feelings of anxiety, sadness, compulsion, overwhelming fear, depression. No one was talking about it woman-to-woman. Medical terms and technical words, scary intangibles psychosis (also a huge issue but different from PPD). Sensationalized cases of women harming themselves and/or their children allowed the rest of us, all of us, to distance ourselves from the vast numbers of women who do no harm to themselves or their babies. But they suffer, oh how they suffer.

Katherine Stone, as CEO and Founder of Postpartum Progress began to advocate for all of the rest of us in a new and effective way. Social media, community, personal experience, a village. This is about all the other women, men, families, doctors, therapists, who now have the information and tools to talk about what we felt, and frankly still feel. I have found myself in recovery all over again, realizing that as a survivor I will always need support, and I can always give it. And I have Postpartum Progress to thank for that. I may be only a few months in to this group, but I’m in baby, I’m in.

 

 

Comments

  1. Thank you for posting this, Jenny. So true. Women’s friendships save our lives and when you have a group of women who get it, who have been there and who are willing to go deep with you, you no longer feel like you are drowning. Beautiful sharing like always.
    Cheers!

    Like

  2. “How it feels to have horrific intrusive scary thoughts about danger that might befall you or your baby. How it feels to cry all day and know there are always more tears. How it feels to be so tired you cannot move, not one inch but for to care for your child, you somehow do, and it’s at your own expense.”

    Yes. I could have written this myself. And finding that community of women was vital, b/c no matter how sympathetic someone is, if they haven’t BTDT they can’t ever fully comprehend, no matter how hard they try. It’s an understanding born of dreadful experience.

    SUCH a great post.

    Like

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